Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer."It was not her country’s problems that set her to writing, she said. “On the contrary,” she wrote in an essay, “it was learning to write that sent me falling, falling through the surface of the South African way of life.”

Falling through the surface of our way of life is a wonderful description, I think, of what can happen when we take on a tool of expression which opens us to not only ever-expanding exploration and expression, but also to new awareness of the nature and energy of life itself. Nadine Gordimer is one of those giants with class, whose mark in our literary and social-consciousness will forever ripple into our collective consciousness. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

By Design

What got me going
is simply the life-
the everyday machinations and little miracles of
breath and step and word
and deed.
Touch and Go.

As "caregiver" goes - what a word
that is, like an Indian word, a naming
by deed and so much more-
"deer hunter", "tracker,"
"dog catcher"-
a defining of roles.

We the people define
for ourselves the divine
in simple physical terms
because energy is a hard
concept to accept as real
as bread, truck, beer, ice,
broken bone,
ice cream,

Challenging for a mind more than
a body, already engaged
committed, living
loving motion-
ingesting, air water, breathing, changing.

I love you life,
the body says in a
million infinite ways.
Let's go. Do.
I'll show you as you
show me.
Trust the inhale
to exhale-
We're made to.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Food, Sex, Sleep and Knowledge

I am nearly finished reading Donna Tartt's Pulitzer-winning, fan-loving The Goldfinch. Reading this 700+-page novel along with (in  manuscript) Kathy Oddenino's upcoming novel, also with notes of Hippocrates, MFK Fisher, and various other pieces online - reminds me how much our mind can take in, and how much our mind wants to be fed, especially when we can appreciate a healthy appetite. A friend recently remarked that, while men are said to think about sex maybe once a minute, what she thinks about constantly is food! What research shows, and which makes sense to me, is that food, sex, and sleep (our survival basics) are what we humans think about most often. We know how we respond to cravings, generally speaking, as individuals and as people - humans. Do we know why? Isn't this one way we define "knowing what we want?" Self-discovery invites us to understand the levels of our consciousness, of ourselves, more deeply, more intimately, and the rewards are infinite. If we accept that it is our mind that creates our reality as we experience "reality," then it follows that what we feed our mind is also a basic survival need. Good food, good sleep, and good sex make us happy! As I continue to learn and appreciate, thinking and speaking are our highest, or most developed senses. Without thinking, none of the food, sex, or sleep would have the status they have in our world. Would they? Knowledge is both appreciated and often misunderstood, it seems to me. Knowledge is a gift to us, to our minds, to our evolving consciousness. This is why teachers, beginning with our parents, are to be honored, respected, and valued throughout their/our lives and beyond. Memories remain after those we love die. As I think of my parents and the snatches of memory that flash into my mind every day, I appreciate ever more what memory means to us, and how sharing our lives is a gift that keeps on giving, not just "in the physical."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scrimshaw - my new book!












    Scrimshaw by M E Martin
    Make Your Own Book

    Scrimshaw by M E Martin


Monday, March 03, 2014



A typeface based on copperplate style,
The maps of the heart show our provenance,
The journeys we’ve made, what we bring,
What we have gained.
If not scrimshaw
Scroll work
Carving bone or ivory
Harvesting whalers’
Handiwork, byproduct of
What our DNA brings forward
As if carved into our
Choices as we make them,
Once we open our eyes
As we take that one step at a time.

Don’t wait.

If scrolls are not read
When they’re ready they become relics,
Turned to stone and bone fragments
To be pieced together by
of another time,
Whiling away a present to seek
Seeds of a story they have


from my new book

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just Thinking

If the energy of our mind as we share our thoughts, ideas, etc., is simply to persuade others to share our view, then we are already seeing ourselves as “different.” We can be set up and set off by the ingrained pattern of “mutual hostility” or competition (hidden or overt belief).  This is a way that our male mind has seen itself throughout time, in many lives, as our ego has formed, developed, and strengthened as we have created beliefs to define or support our perception of life (the meaning of life).  This is one image that shows our belief in what survival means, rather than evolution. This is a dual image and as we learn and grow as a consciousness we enlighten ourselves with the loving image of who we are  – of us as male and female, rather than simply male or female, in the positive light of our creation as evolving consciousness. We come to know ourselves not as the Lone Warrior battling all forces which may obstruct us from obtaining our Holy Grail, but as the Pilgrim seeking to know himself as one within the world but sent and created of the Spirit – to be in AND of the world in its highest expression as evolving consciousness.

The “lone adventurer” ready to set off into the big, wide world, the Great Unknown that is full of danger, adventure, possibility. It is the same image of when we choose to enter another physical life – with all of the chemical poetry in motion as energy beings, reviewing, sharing, communicating in all sensory ways, then choosing the portal of entry, with consent, and “taking the plunge,” with full excitement as a soul to Begin Again – to learn, grow, to Be. This is the same image parents must have, and children must have, as babies are conceived, born, and nurtured until the day a child sets off for the first day of school – the new adventure, the precipice of a new life in a big world of other children, peers, beyond what we have experienced before. First day of school, first moment of awakening to a new spark of knowing, of knowledge, the first tying of a shoe, the first taste of… whatever awakens that love within us, the first moment of pedaling the tricycle faster and faster into a speed where we feel the independence of movement in a new way; jumping off of a high dive, diving into a pool for the first time, having a first haircut, a first kiss, singing a first song, or hearing one we instantly love, that sings to our cells in a way not like the others. All are part of this amazing Universal language of love within us and which we share through our interaction as physical beings on this Earth with its own expressions that we share and honor as we learn to love.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stoner - I like Gatsby AND this "Anti-Gatsby"

John Williams
University of Denver photograph
I just finished John Williams’ 1965 novel, Stoner, a novel John McGahern describes in his introduction as “this classic novel of university life, and the life of the heart and the mind.” It’s a powerhouse of a book – I imagine even for those who have less affection and affinity for “university life” or the pull toward both the flashy polish of Gatsby and the austere precision of Stoner than I have.  Williams’ precise use of words to convey so much so simply is a true gift and a rare one.  He captures the truth of personalities and the energy of their expression in wonderful and thoughtful ways, and by doing so offers an endless palate of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to think about, appreciate, explore, and to learn from.  It is very sad in its seemingly relentless sense of isolation, yet reading Stoner is like an excursion into a certain kind of art gallery – old masters, the musty sense of reverence for “pure knowledge,” the life of the mind and of learning, and a persistent quiet reverie as the reader absorbs all that is happening in this intense microcosm which expands into a whole world and reverberates beyond. Love, lust, and learning all make an appearance, each given life in particular ways.  The “meaning of life,” of a particular life and lives, is laid bare for inquiring minds and hearts to know themselves. To read this is an honor – is to honor Williams for his creation, and to honor the gift of life itself, which we all share.  Without honor and the Values of the Spirit which begin with love and are expressed with a quiet but firm and growing dignity (which comes from learning and experience), we are left with sadness and the pettiness of confusion and the false power that the ego wields.  There is much poetic beauty in Williams’ language of “love becoming,” even as he describes the way the softness of snow, the whiteness of the sky suffused with snow, the permeating silence which invites the mind into a state beyond the nature it has known and experienced before.

The saddest thing to me may be what Tim Kreider wrote in his October 2013 New Yorker review - that wisdom is "perennially out of style." The popularity of the novel in Europe makes sense to me. Older sensibilities learn that loss does not necessarily lead to "failure."

“In his extreme youth Stoner had thought of love as an absolute state of being to which, if one were lucky, one might find access; in his maturity he had decided it was the heaven of a false religion, toward which one ought to gaze with an amused disbelief, a gently familiar contempt, and an embarrassed nostalgia. Now in his middle age he began to know that it was neither a state of grace nor an illusion; he saw it as a human act of becoming, a condition that was invented and modified moment by moment and day by day, by the will and the intelligence and the heart.” (195)
Something I wrote a few nights ago fit into the influence of his book more than I realized, until I read the last few pages.

                Spiralling into me.
The book between worlds
The pages
Walking the pages
As if struck by chords
Harmony falling
Sounding and falling
We are holding on
Thin wisps of light
Gleaming, powerful
Beaming like strings
                Into morning
A new day, hope
And words illuminated.